I’ve got 3 articles for ya this morning from my weekend reading.
First up, an excellent speech on the Middle East that is right on target:
So many great paragraphs in it, but here’s a couple:
“U.S. policy should encourage the nations of the Middle East to develop effective political, economic, and military strategies to defend and advance their own interests, not rush to assume responsibility for doing this for them. Part of such a policy adjustment toward emphasizing the primary responsibility of the countries of the region for their own security would involve weighing the opinions of our partners in the region much more heavily in our decisions than they have in since 9/11. Had we listened to our Gulf Arab friends, we would not have invaded Iraq in 2003. Iraq would still be balancing Iran. It would not be in chaos and it would still have a border with Syria. The United States needs to return to respecting the views of regional powers about the appropriate response to regional threats, resisting the impulse to substitute military campaign plans made in Washington for strategies conceived by those with the greatest stake in their success.
The need for restraint extends to refraining from expansive rhetoric about our values or attempting to compel others to conform to them. In practice, we have insisted on democratization only in countries we have invaded or that were otherwise falling apart, as Egypt was during the first of the two “non coups” it suffered. When elections have yielded governments whose policies we oppose, we have not hesitated to conspire with their opponents to overthrow them. But the results of our efforts to coerce political change in the Middle East are not just failure but catastrophic failure. Our policies have nowhere produced democracy. They have instead contrived the destabilization of societies, the kindling of religious warfare, and the installation of dictatorships contemptuous of the rights of religious and ethnic minorities.”
Second, we have a dire warning:
The world’s top scientists and governments have issued their bluntest plea yet to the world: Slash carbon pollution now (at a very low cost) or risk “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.” Scientists have “high confidence” these devastating impacts occur “even with adaptation” – if we keep doing little or nothing.
Finally, go local!
It’s about beer, the nourishing nectar of a civilized society. From my teen years forward, I’ve done extensive and intensive consumer research on the brewer’s art, from the full array of ales to the most substantial of stouts. I weathered the depressing era of the 1970s to 2000, when Budweiser, Miller and a couple of other nationalizers of bland beer forced a diversity of livelier regional brands in our country out of business. And I rejoiced in the last decade or so as a flowering of upstart craft and new micro-brews has spread from city to city, creating an abundance of real gusto and local flavor from coast to coast.
So how you doin’? 😀